Each minute Kwasi Kwarteng is on his feet at the dispatch box on Friday – and he is expected to speak for a minimum of 20 – the chancellor will cost the taxpayer at least £2bn.
Accompanied by a few pages of Treasury costings – but no formal forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility – the unusual end-of-week sitting could determine the success or otherwise of Liz Truss’s premiership.
As politics resumes at warp speed, here are five things to watch for:
New ministers telling their predecessors they got it wrong
Without naming names, Mr Kwarteng’s statement will make clear Boris Johnson’s government must shoulder a lot of blame for the country’s ills.
Team Truss believes the direction needs to change, their mission is clearer, their communication strategy sharper, and the ideological purpose more evident.
The new Number 10 – which ironically has more than a decade’s worth of cabinet experience within it – thinks the May and Johnson years pursued the wrong goals, lacked focus and led to the country suffering from flagging growth levels for the best part of the last decade .
“Friday is about outlining a new approach to the economy,” said one government source bluntly.
“The approach to date has not worked”.
Not a good moment for the former Tory chancellors, who are being told that they failed.
This should not be a surprise for close watchers of the new Trust administration – in her reshuffle, the new prime minister made explicit that loyalty trumps competence.
Two weeks ago, on her first day as PM, Rishi Sunak supporter Grant Shapps went to see Ms Truss to see whether he would remain as transport secretary.
As she outlined the reasons for sacking him, she nevertheless told Mr Shapps that he was “one of the most competent secretaries of state in government” and “probably the best communicator in government” – but because he didn’t back her, there was “no room at the inn”.
This judgment has ricocheted around Tory ranks, inflaming the already fizzing anger at some reshuffle decisions.
Friends of Mr Shapps, however, suggest he is more phlegmatic than most, appreciating the direct approach and expecting to be back in government before long.
But the message was clear – Truss wanted to surround herself with believers.
The new A-Team gets to work
The government has a new central mission – to secure 2.5% “trend” growth in the medium term.
This is set by a new “economic quad” – a quartet of ministers who work out how to get there.
Sitting alongside the PM at these meetings are her Chancellor, Mr Kwarteng, a long time colleague, ideological ally and fellow part of the Greenwich set in south east London.
Also there is Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke, whose importance to this administration should not be underestimated as an architect of the overall strategy known throughout Whitehall to be trusted by the new PM.
Business Secretary Jacob Rees Mogg is at most meetings, though not all. Sometimes Deputy Prime Minister Therese Coffey is there as well or instead of others.
This is where the new plan for Britain is being hammered out at speed. For some economists and supporters of her rival Mr Sunak, it is unorthodox.
High interests rates from the Bank of England are a problem
Mr Kwarteng will use Friday’s growth statement to follow through on well-trailed campaign promises: canceling the corporation tax rise and reversing the national insurance rise, now likely coupled with a stamp duty cut, together costing tens of billions of pounds.
All of this is designed to stoke economic growth to try and avoid a post-Ukraine, post-Covid slowdown or recession.
But while the government is borrowing tens of billions to pump prime growth and increase demand, the Bank of England is doing the opposite, this week sharply raising interest rates to dampen demand and reduce inflation – currently running at five times the official 2% target.
Take one policy example: This week will see the government borrowing billions to stoke the housing market with a stamp duty cut.
This will be announced 24 hours after the Bank of England makes mortgages more expensive with a rise in interest rates, consigning millions of people on variable rate deals and those whose fixed rate agreements are ending to financial misery.
“I have no way of explaining this or squaring these things off,” said one Whitehall official involved in the discussions.
Ministers – who are worrying in private about high interest rates – need a better explanation than this.
It’s all about deregulation – just look at investment zones
Friday will see another sharp mid-Parliament change of political direction and one iconic Truss policy will demonstrate this – “investment zones”, which will be at the heart of her new vision for “levelling up”.
These mutant, more radical offspring of free ports will be set up in 40 areas around the country. Here, lower environmental and planning standards mean development could be cheaper and building easier, while taxes for businesses and residents will also be lower.
Residents are unlikely to get income tax cuts inside investment zones, but national insurance breaks could still be passed on to employees.
This could mark a massive transformation in parts of the country, depending on their size – in theory a new investment zone could cover an entire mayoralty region the size of Greater Manchester, although initially most are expected to be parts of council areas.
It will also depend on the sheer numbers of rules and regulations residents and local businesses inside these zones will no longer have to follow.
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Any attempt to abandon environmental and planning rules has resulted in a rebellion at a local and national level. Will the new investment zones be a way of circumventing councils and Parliament to avoid such an outcry when concreting the countryside?
MPs have been called by ministers in the last couple of days to tell them their constituencies have been decided, even before the policy is officially announced, such is the rush to get some of them ready for a photo opportunity at a party conference in under a fortnight .
Ms Truss wants to appear, shovel in hand, perhaps standing next to West Midlands Mayor Andy Street in one of these newly announced zones, making clear what she stands for.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, long a Tory favorite in the Johnson era, vociferously backed Mr Sunak, so may be less prominent a recipient of government larges and favors this year.
Already 40 councils have been approached to be involved, and most likely to say yes.
Just don’t mention that from 2010 to 2015, David Cameron’s coalition government – of which Ms Truss was a member – also set up “enterprise zones”, though they died a death years later to little acclaim or apparent enduring benefit.
If Michael Gove did it, expect it to be undone
Boris Johnson’s “levelling up” slogan may survive, but what it means in practice has already changed.
All over Whitehall, Johnson and Gove era plans are being junked, nowhere more replaced than in the Department for Levelling Up where the more dirigiste philosophy of interventionism, through raising living standards and boosting public services, is being by an approach centerd around deregulation.
Some now suggest Mr Gove’s plans – worked on up until his sacking as levelling up secretary in July – look like “socialism” in comparison to the new Truss team approach.
The Johnson era Levelling Up And Regeneration Bill before Parliament – a smorgasbord of measures to track improvements in local communities and improve local democracy – is on course to be gutted.
Areas like Oxford and Cambridge – which Mr Gove felt could attract private investment without government help – may even now become investment zones. The Blue Wall could benefit.
Other Gove pet projects down the ages could also be disbanded. Grammar schools – which he kept a lid on as education secretary – are now set to increase.
The strong affinity with the US government, which he has always advocated, is now under strain. His approach to post-Brexit green issues from his time as secretary secretary could be undone.
Nothing he touched is particularly safe.
Will it work? That depends on three groups voters, Tory MPs and the markets.
The first haven’t had a chance to digest the change.
The second are not yet in full hue and cry.
“The feeling is not mutinous,” said one Sunak supporter. “We think we’re signing away our economic credibility and will lose, but can’t be bothered to fight it at this stage.”
The third audience – the financial markets – may be the most immediately tricky.
Today it emerged the cost of government borrowing rose to the highest level for August since monthly records began in 1997 as inflation pushed up interest payments on public debt.
Could the most ideological, free market government in a generation fall foul of investors because of the scale of borrowing they embark on?